How do I do a research plan?


 To develop a research plan...

Pick Your Topic

  • If you have a list of topics from your instructor, choose from that.
  • If you need to pick something on your own:
    • Read our answer to: How can I choose a topic to write about?
    • Use a database like Points of View Reference Center to:
      • Identify popular topics (they provide a browsing list of over 200 topics)
      • To find background information (including keywords, broader terms, narrower terms, and related terms).
      • To find a variety of opinions (point/counterpoint and pro/con information) on your topic.

Limit Your Topic

  • The size of the topic you pick should match the length of the paper you are writing.
  • Example topic: Thyroid disorders (book length!)
  • Example limited topics for shorter papers

  • Whether or not thyroid patients should use generic drugs rather than brand name drugs for treatment.
  • How doctors can better diagnose thyroid disease.
  • An examination of the autoimmune syndromes related to thyroid disease and why they seem to be more prevalent in women.

Identify Keywords and Combinations

  • Identify the words or phrases you should search.
  • Do a little background research to identify keywords (related terms) from the literature (Points of View is great for this)
  • Thyroid disease possibilities
    • More specific: Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism
    • More general: Hashimoto's, Autoimmune disorders
    • Related:
      • Thyroid and nutrition, thyroid and gender, thyroid and treatment, thyroid and diagnosis, thyroid and drugs
  • Identify Boolean Operators to use to combine your terms

Identify Resources to Search


  • Last Updated Feb 20, 2024
  • Views 1187
  • Answered By Kerry Louvier

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